exact measurements for aluminum hard drive silencing plates?

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
serfurj
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:05 pm
Location: Texas

exact measurements for aluminum hard drive silencing plates?

Post by serfurj » Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:16 pm

i'd like to sandwich my hard drive in aluminum plates as described in
this article. are those plates 1/2" thick? could anyone give me some exact measurements?

also, i'd like to be able to mount the drive cdrom drive bay, but the plates in that article look too small. any ideas?

thanks.

Tibors
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 2674
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe

Post by Tibors » Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:52 pm

Welcome to SPCR

As you can see that is a fairly old article. Sandwiching harddrives is no longer considered worth the effort. It is not even mentioned in the sticky HDD vibration & noise reducing methods - ranked.

serfurj
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:05 pm
Location: Texas

Post by serfurj » Wed Mar 16, 2005 5:03 pm

thanks.

i would like to put an end to the acoustic (high pitch) noise, not the structure-borne vibrations. this is the only mention of how to get rid of acoustic noise:
SmartDrive - This doesn't totally belong here, because it is an enclosure device, not really a vibration dampener, per se. But does reduce damping, keeps the HDD from getting hot, and with an already quiet HDD, makes acoustic noise pretty much disappear together. Suspending this in elastic would be the ultimate, but the front bottom of a case that does not have 3.5" cages all the way to the floor is the only place you could do it.
doesn't smartdrive use the same principles that hard drive sandwiching does to reduce noise?

i'm not completely sure the high pitch noises i'm hearing are not structure-borne vibrations, but that's what i gathered from the articles i've read. let me know if you think i'm wrong.

Tibors
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 2674
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe

Post by Tibors » Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:32 pm

The smartdrive and other enclosures are more akin to the rubber box in: Rubber Boxes & Carved Foam: More HDD Silencing. With the sandwich you have a tight coupling between the drive and the aluminium plate. This just extends the object that emits the whine. With the rubber box and the commercial enclosures you have a loose coupling. As you can read in the article, even small gaps in the rubber box let all high pitched sound escape. This would be even more true for the sandwich, as the foam on the sides doesn't block sound. It only dampens it somewhat.

You don't see much people using the rubber box, as people are afraid it will overheat modern drives. Plus the rubber might be difficult to source. You don't see many people using the commerial enclosures, because most are so expensive people rather buy a non whining drive in stead.

serfurj
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:05 pm
Location: Texas

Post by serfurj » Wed Mar 16, 2005 6:54 pm

thanks for explaning. i'm looking into mounting foam on the inside of the case to reduce the high pitch whining noise. do you think a mechanical decoupling technique might help with the whining?

Tibors
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 2674
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe

Post by Tibors » Wed Mar 16, 2005 7:16 pm

Decoupling helps some, but not much against high pitched whine. This is easy to test by holding the running drive in your hand or put it on something soft on the bottom of the case. For testing this can be anything soft you can find: a sponge from the bathroom (not wet ofcourse); a stack of socks; a folded towel; just be creative. If this helps and you think it is worth the effort, then you can think of some more permanent solution.

alleycat
Posts: 740
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2002 10:32 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Post by alleycat » Wed Mar 16, 2005 11:55 pm

There are details of an aluminium hard drive enclosure which I made elsewhere in this forum. It drastically reduces all components of drive noise, including high-pitched whine.

serfurj
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 4:05 pm
Location: Texas

Post by serfurj » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:43 pm

Tibors wrote:Decoupling helps some, but not much against high pitched whine. This is easy to test by holding the running drive in your hand or put it on something soft on the bottom of the case. For testing this can be anything soft you can find: a sponge from the bathroom (not wet ofcourse); a stack of socks; a folded towel; just be creative. If this helps and you think it is worth the effort, then you can think of some more permanent solution.
suprisingly, decoupling helped silence the HDD whine quite a bit. i put a couple pieces of foam underneath it for testing. it's still audible, but just not as loud.

~El~Jefe~
Friend of SPCR
Posts: 2887
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:21 pm
Location: New York City zzzz
Contact:

Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:36 pm

serfurj wrote:
Tibors wrote:Decoupling helps some, but not much against high pitched whine. This is easy to test by holding the running drive in your hand or put it on something soft on the bottom of the case. For testing this can be anything soft you can find: a sponge from the bathroom (not wet ofcourse); a stack of socks; a folded towel; just be creative. If this helps and you think it is worth the effort, then you can think of some more permanent solution.
suprisingly, decoupling helped silence the HDD whine quite a bit. i put a couple pieces of foam underneath it for testing. it's still audible, but just not as loud.
the most important part of a hd to keep cool is the board beneath the drive. If you put foam beneath that, it would roast much more easily. Actually, it is supposed to roast. Sandwich plates are a good heat sink idea, but I am unsure about dissipation. personally, I wouldnt without some air flow over the bottom of the drive.

Orbit
Posts: 31
Joined: Fri Sep 24, 2004 4:44 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Post by Orbit » Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:55 am

I noticed a dramatic decrease in the high pitch whine from my western digital after elastically suspending it.

I modified my Lian Li PC61 lower drive cage so I could have 3 suspended drives in there (Baracuda IV, 7200.7 and WD .. whatever).

My PSU is still far too noisy... and no one in Australia stocks Seasonic PSUs (that I'm aware of at least) OR Nexus fans.

Tibors
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 2674
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe

Post by Tibors » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:00 am

There are enough examples of people using the "drive on foam in the bottom of the case" method on this forum. But if you are really afraid the drive will roast that way, than just flip your drive upside down. The part that is normally on top, is the coolest part of the drive anyway. And before anybody asks: Yes, it is perfectly safe to run a drive upside down or even standing on it's side. As long as it is at any right angle to gravity, it is OK.

Good to hear this works agains the whine from WD drives. With my Maxtor DM plus 45, it has only a little effect. (So it is demoted to emergency spare part.)

Rusty075
SPCR Reviewer
Posts: 4000
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Contact:

Post by Rusty075 » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:03 am

Tibors wrote:Sandwiching harddrives is no longer considered worth the effort. It is not even mentioned in the sticky HDD vibration & noise reducing methods - ranked.
Err, did I miss a memo? The very top link in that sticky, under the Best category, goes directly to the Sandwiching article. Sandwiching is actually very effective against whine, plus it helps reduce temperatures in suspended drives.
~El~Jefe~ wrote:the most important part of a hd to keep cool is the board beneath the drive. If you put foam beneath that, it would roast much more easily. Actually, it is supposed to roast. Sandwich plates are a good heat sink idea, but I am unsure about dissipation. personally, I wouldnt without some air flow over the bottom of the drive.
How much air goes over the underside of a drive mounted conventionally in a 3.5" HDD rack? Zero. The PCB generates a small portion of the total heat of the drive, the bulk comes from the spindle and the head actuator. That's why those parts are directly connected to the sides of the drive, which act as heatsinks. It's the platter you want to keep cool, the PCB elements are perfectly happy at temps that will back the data portions of the drive.

Tibors
Patron of SPCR
Posts: 2674
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 2004 6:07 am
Location: Houten, The Netherlands, Europe

Post by Tibors » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:53 am

Rusty075 wrote:Err, did I miss a memo? The very top link in that sticky, under the Best category, goes directly to the Sandwiching article. Sandwiching is actually very effective against whine, plus it helps reduce temperatures in suspended drives.
Maybe I misunderstood, but there is at least one post somewhere on the forums where MikeC states he no longer uses sandwiches. Plus if I read the sticky, I think that link is there for the suspension part of the article, not for the sandwiching. Lastly, if a sandwich with some foam in the sides is effective then that conflicts with the observation about escaping sound in the rubberbox article I linked above.

Maybe Mike could shed some light on this :?:

Krispy
Posts: 95
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 8:24 am
Location: S.E. England

Post by Krispy » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:58 am

I used to have a pair of 7500RPM WD's in caddies which always ran cool owing to their dreaded & noisy built in 40mm fans. Was I glad to scrap these & suspend the drives in 3x 5.25" bays. :D Obviously the noise went down considerably!

Trouble was, even with the case open & at idle the drives ran warm (mid 40's), especially the circuit boards which were almost too hot to hold. I didn't bother to close the case & try a defrag, because it was already looking unacceptable. Hopefully you won't have a similar experience! You'll just have to see what happens in your own setup. Fortunately, an old 80mm fan suspended in front of these @ 5v proved inaudible & brought the drives down to the mid 30's.

I already had 2 layers of PaxMate foam inside the case & this is worthwhile. Generally things are pretty quite now.

Best of luck! :)

Straker
Posts: 657
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2004 11:10 pm
Location: AB, Canada
Contact:

Post by Straker » Sat Mar 19, 2005 12:29 am

sandwiching is a good idea, just labor-intensive and you still need a way to decouple it... wasting space if you go and screw the big plates into your case :P

MikeC
Site Admin
Posts: 12283
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Contact:

Post by MikeC » Sat Mar 19, 2005 7:25 pm

Tibors wrote:
Rusty075 wrote:Err, did I miss a memo? The very top link in that sticky, under the Best category, goes directly to the Sandwiching article. Sandwiching is actually very effective against whine, plus it helps reduce temperatures in suspended drives.
Maybe I misunderstood, but there is at least one post somewhere on the forums where MikeC states he no longer uses sandwiches. Plus if I read the sticky, I think that link is there for the suspension part of the article, not for the sandwiching. Lastly, if a sandwich with some foam in the sides is effective then that conflicts with the observation about escaping sound in the rubberbox article I linked above.

Maybe Mike could shed some light on this :?:
Ys, it is true that I don't recommend sandwiching anymore. The link is there just to point to the suspension, as you suspect, Tibors, and I should clarify that. Sandwiching seems more of a hit/miss thing. It is less effective than a rubber box for acoustic silencing and much worse than decouple mounting for vibration reduction. If you are using noisy drives, it might still be an OK way to go, but you're much better off starting with a quiet drive anyway.

Post Reply